A professional footballer who was on the pitch when he was told that his wife’s waters had broken had time to score a goal before rushing to the hospital to be at the birth.
Ryan Colclough ran off down the tunnel shortly after scoring his second goal in Wigan Athletic’s 3-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night. He made it to the hospital, still in full kit, 30 minutes before his wife Steph gave birth to a boy, completing a unique hat-trick for the winger.
“Just before I scored, I see my Dad over in the stands and he gave me the action like ‘the waters had broken’ so my head was a little bit battered,” he told BBC Radio Manchester on Wednesday.
“And then I went and scored and then I just looked at the manager and he said: ‘We’ll bring you off now,’ and I was straight down the tunnel and grabbed my keys and my phone.”
Colclough said he and his wife had seen the midwife earlier on Tuesday and had been told it would probably be a couple more days before the baby would arrive. Explaining his decision not to come off immediately on seeing his father’s gesture, he said: “The ball was in play.”
It had previously been reported that he was told at half-time that his wife was in labour.
Many fans only learned the reasons for Colclough’s dash down the tunnel after the match when Wigan’s assistant manager, Leam Richardson, revealed the news. “We’re all individuals – some of the players wouldn’t have gone, they’d be still in the dressing room now,” he quipped.
A picture of Colclough, still in his kit, holding his 8lb 6oz newborn son, Harley Thomas Colclough, was later posted on Twitter by the Wigan chairman, David Sharpe.
Colclough tweeted: “What a great result and team effort from all the boys. I’m so happy to mark the birth of my second son with two goals and the win, he made it a hat-trick for me! Appreciate the messages! #UpTheTics.”
He said he would not be training on Wednesday but would be going in to work to drop off his kit from Tuesday’s match.